Proper Bread Cooling

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Once your bread exits the oven, it enters an extremely crucial stage: cooling. The goal is to move the bread as soon possible on to packaging. Yet do that too quickly or too slowly, and you're going to end up with a lower quality product, or product waste.

The goal is to decrease the internal temperature of the baked bread from 93–97°C (200–208°F), at depanning or coming out of the oven, to 32–43°C (90–110°F). 

How is bread cooled? 
Over time, baked bread loses moisture and dries out due to differences in water content between the crumb and crust. This can be managed:

  1. Manually by placing on cooling racks after depanning (ambient or natural cooling)
  2. Automatically using racks, trays, or continuous conveyor belts (or spirals in wholesale breadmaking operations)

If you cool too much:

  • The internal temperature is too low
  • The finished product is drier and firmer with brittle, harsh eating qualities (crumbly)
  • The dryness and loss of moisture contributes to a faster loaf staling

If you don't cool enough:

  • Bread sidewalls will be weak and may collapse while passing through the slicer
  • Slices will be ragged and may tear due to excessive moisture remaining in the loaf and the crumb being too soft
  • Gumming up of the slicer blades thus increasing downtime
  • Pilling of the crumb
  • Excess moisture due to condensation in the wrapper, thus encouraging mold growth

What are the key cooling variables
to control? Find out here!

Science. It’s the cool part of baking!

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We'd like to thank Ashworth for sponsoring this topic on bread cooling. 

Ashworth has revolutionized the future of conveyor belts for over 75 years by leading the market with the most conveyor belt patents for industries that include commercial baking and food processing. Companies around the world depend on Ashworth’s quality products, reliable customer service, and innovative solutions to resolve problems and increase productivity. 
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